Our feathered friends require our love and care. It’s a fact that many birds are killed every year because of increased domestication, hunting, and forest destruction. Due to this, many birds that were once common are no longer found in human habitats.
Among the severely rarest ones, the Madagascar Pochard, Stresemann’s Bristlefront, Kakapo, Blue-Eyed Ground-Dove, Imperial Amazon, Bahama Nuthatch, Spix Macaw, Cebu Flowerpecker, and Hawaiian crow are noteworthy.
Because of our own faults, we may end up losing even more species down the road.
Rarest Birds In The World
The birds have always been a subject of awe and bewilderment for us since we were in cradles. Their sweet chirping, their infinite flights, their adorable size, who can’t but admire them!
For a long time, we have been familiar with the common bird species. But what is common today for us becomes rare after a few decades. It has resulted in endangering the lives of many birds critically.
Another unique name among the rarest species is the Strigops habroptilus, or in other words, the Kakapo. To be fair, the name might make it sound like a weird daytime bird. Instead, it is a nocturnal parrot.
They have a lovely lime color and a typical parrot beak. The face is a bit furry, which makes these miniature birds look adorable. Moreover, they feed on various plants, seeds, and fruits. The fact that they are excellent climbers is fascinating as well. With their flightless wings, they can climb tall trees in search of food.
Originally, they come from New Zealand. These birds used to be so common that even in the 19th and 20th centuries, they were innumerable in the ecosystem worldwide. However, with increasing adversities, they started to disappear. By the end of the 20th century, they were only 50 in number in the whole world.
Actually, the Columbina cyanosis, or the Blue-Eyed Ground-Dove, has been named for the azure blue shade of eyes. This blue color matches with the contrast blue spots on their brownish red-colored bodies. The spherical head gives them a chubby kind of look. They are incredibly adorable, like any other dove!
They can camouflage themselves with the ground, hence the name Ground-Doves. In fact, for about 75 years, there was no information about their whereabouts! These species were thought to be totally wiped out until 2015; about 12 of them were discovered again.
The famous bird enthusiast Rafael Bessa brought them back with the help of their voice. They were rediscovered from a mysterious recording. Like most rare birds, they also originate from Brazil, particularly from the Cerrado region.
Besides, they love to live beside the native grasslands of Lagenocarpus. They feed on the seeds of these plants as well. At present, they are about 20 in number.
Imperial Amazon is mostly common in the Caribbean Islands, especially in the Island of Dominica. A few years ago, there were more than hundreds of them on the Island. However, the big hurricane named Maria in 2017 wiped out most of them. Now, their total population stands at fewer than 50.
They are the national animal of the Caribbean Islands. They look like a close relative of the parrot family. In addition, they are on verge of extinction now, and their habitats are declining. Locals call them Sisserou. They have good camouflaging skills and can blend in really well with the surroundings.
Several hurricanes have endangered so many of our avian friends. Bahama Nuthatch is no exception to this. Hurricane Matthew that took place on the Island of Grand Bahama in 2016 took away the lives of many Bahama Nuthatches.
Until 2004, there were about two thousands of them. Later, many consecutive hurricanes occurred, which gradually declined the numbers. At present, there are about two to five of them in the Bahamas.
Recently, the Bahama National Trust has come forward to save these from going extinct forever. They are working for bird conservation and have worked in unison with the American Bird Conservation society. Hopefully, their efforts could recover about 25 birds in the last 20 years.
However, there are reports that not a single bird was found after 2018. In fact, some reports claim the Bahama Nuthatches to be totally extinct. Hence, their exact number or present location is subject to controversies right now. The museums have tried to conserve a few, and maybe about a dozen or two in their stores.
They look extremely small, like sparrows or maybe much smaller. They have pointed beaks, a brown furry back, and a white creamy textured ventral aspect. You can fit a whole Nuthatch in your palms!
These birds are now present only in captivity. They come from Pernambuco and Bahia of Brazil. Actually, eighty percent of the rarest bird species come from the land of Brazil. Maybe it is due to the availability of forests in that area.
They have a very long tail and a typical parrot beak. Towards the rear, they have a bright blue color. And the head is in between grey and blue. The rest of it is a mixture of the two colors.
They are extremely rare and have gone extinct for a while. Now, due to the joint venture and efforts of many bird conservation programs, they are starting to appear back. Approximately 52 Spix’s Macaws were reintroduced into the wild in 2020. About 18 Macaws are present in captivity now.
According to popular belief, they are descendants of only seven ancestral birds. These seven reproduced the later generations. Researchers are still trying to bring back as much as they can.
Currently, they are fewer than a hundred in number. Although, there was a time when there were thousands of Cebus in forests. They are native to the Philippines, particularly the Cebu Islands. Almost all of them reside in the wild. There is no report on captivity or domestications.
Previously, in the early 1900s, they used to be abundant in number. Then, there was extensive habitat clearance which led to their gradual decline in numbers. At the end of the 90s, they were again found in the limestone forest of the Philippines.
They are critically endangered as of now. More extensive studies and research need to be done to preserve and conserve these species. The Flowerpeckers have an outstanding texture. It’s more like someone painted some shades on them. They are a mixture of blue, white, and red.
They mostly rely on fruits when it comes to their diet. According to the most recent information, the conservation status of the species is critically endangered.
Hawaiian crows are understudies and conservation programs. But there hasn’t been much success in this field. As of 2019, however, a breeding pair of the bird was introduced to its native habitat. As per reports, the pair laid eggs, but the eggs didn’t hatch. Probably, infertility is a common issue among the Hawaiian crows.
Local people refer to these birds as ‘Alalã. The breeding of Hawaiian crows is not that easy. Cats, dogs, and even humans can pose a threat to Hawaiian crows!
We should incorporate new technologies to bring back the Hawaiian crows to our habitats. These birds are highly susceptible to changes in ecosystems, so much care should be taken about this.
Antioquia Brush Finch
The name is as uncommon as the bird itself. They are nearly on the verge of extinction and only 20 in number right now. They originate from the Antioquia department of Columbia. This species was first introduced in 2007. Later, due to a lack of adaptations, they started to disappear.
Besides, they were thought to be lost until 2018. Then after like half a century, one bird was seen outside Medellin. Now, they are less than twenty in number and require immediate attention.
These birds have a mixed shade of black, white, and grey. They have some orange or red feathers on the head, which give them a characteristic look. The beak is pointed slightly. You would not come across such a bird every day.
However, the original lands from where the Antioquia Brushfinch came were transformed into pasture lands. As a result, various parasitic illnesses are to blame for the reduction in their numbers.
The Madagascar Pochard
The Madagascar Pochard is the rarest duck species alive. Ducks belong to the class Aves, as per taxonomy. So, they are also birds. The Madagascar Pochard originates from the Westlands of Madagascar. The total number of available ducks both in the wild and in preservation is approximately 150 at present.
The International Union of Conservation of Nature has labeled them as critically endangered. Although there have been some attempts to save them, these ducks have been long lost until 2006. Then, after repeated attempts, a few were rediscovered. Some of them were even preserved in captivity.
Later, the species were released into a lake in Madagascar. The male and female were allowed to mate in order to produce new ones. It took almost a year for some newborn ducklings to appear in the same spot.
These were probably the only Madagascar Pochards alive on earth. The extreme weather conditions, unavailability of food, and bad water pH all have contributed to the extinction of these ducks. For the sake of preservation, a few ducklings are now being raised in captivity.
They principally feed on aquatic animals, especially the larvae of dragonflies and some marine insects. The animal shelters and the livestock committees should come forward to preserve more Madagascar Pochard ducklings.
These birds are so rare that no one saw them after 2018. Only a single female bird was found in December of 2018. After that, nobody ever claimed to have seen these birds.
They have a stunning charcoal grey shade with some feathers on top of their heads. Although the female is somewhat reddish to brownish, both male and female Bristlefront have long tails, and their bodies are about seven to eight inches long.
The feathers on the head are characteristic of the family Rhinocryptidae, to which the Stresemann’s Bristlefronts belong. Even though there was only one surviving female, it gave ornithologists hope that there would be more in the future. Unfortunately, there are no further reports on them.
Besides, they fall under the category of critically endangered as well, as per their conservation status. Bahia, a state of Brazil, is the original home to these birds. The loss of the Atlantic forests and the large fires in the Amazon have killed any remaining hopes for finding more Stresemann’s Bristlefronts.
In the kingdom of animals, birds play a crucial role. There are about 18,000 species of birds in the world right now. One-third or more of them are on the verge of extinction, while others are already extremely endangered.
Some have already become so rare that not even a single bird of the particular species can be seen now. However, there are some common birds that are also on the verge of going extinct. It is mainly due to the fault of mankind and the growth of human civilizations.
Agricultural industrialization, burning down of trees and forests, global warming, climate changes, pollution have destroyed the chances of conserving the risky species. Most are under the red zone now.
Among the commonest ones are New Zealand’s kiwi, Kakapo, Hooded Grebe, fruit dove, Snowy Owl, Great Curassow, Regent Honeyeater, White-rumped Vulture, etc.
Many of these birds were once millions in number all over the world. But now, as they are critically endangered, the number has gradually reduced. Also, some kinds of fungal infections have resulted in the death of many common birds.
The critical condition of birds has led us to think that even the common birds like the pigeons or the crows may even become extinct or rare. The ABC (American Bird Conservancy) Association has contributed a lot to the preservation of rare species.
So, bird owners and enthusiasts should be conscientious about the health of their birds. Application of rules and regulations and the combined efforts of supporting organizations are an inevitable need in this critical state.
Does The Extinction Of Birds Affect Humans?
Yes, birds need to be in optimum numbers to keep a balance in the ecosystem. The compensation that we have at present in our ecosystem is due to the balanced number of all consumers, producers, and food availability.
In fact, birds are an important part of our ecosystem. There needs to be harmony and balance in an ecosystem. The decline in the number of any member will critically affect the others.
Of course, there are diseases that birds can transmit to humans. For example, Psittacosis or pneumonia is a common disease in this regard. Indeed, all these diseases are treatable, and the incidences are not so high. If you are taking proper precautions, incidences are almost negligible. However, the significance of the presence of birds can’t be denied.
Different species of birds have evolved from time to time and kept going rare. Each time a bird that used to be common in an ecosystem goes rare, it affects the entire ecosystem. The reason why birds start to go rare is because they don’t get optimum survival conditions. Some adverse situations arise, which culminate in their death.
Industrialization and bird hunting are the main culprit. Hunting can cause the arousal of fear and insecurity among the livestock. Also, industrialization affects the habitat of birds. So, when this happens, a group of birds starts to migrate. When they reach a new destination, it becomes difficult for them to adapt there.
Eventually, the birds pay the price with their lives. This is how the birds are becoming rare, eventually. And this, in turn, has resulted indirectly in many environmental hazards.
The interesting fact here is that the cause of bird extinction is man-made, which has also affected mankind. So, we must preserve our feather friends. All supporting organizations must come forward to help us with this matter.
For bird enthusiasts, finding the rarest birds in the world is like finding a long-lost treasure! Maybe you might be able to find one yourself too, when passing by a lake in Madagascar or when trekking through hills.